James Cameron Considering Directing Angelina Jolie's Cleopatra
In the summer we wrote about a project in the works called Cleopatra, based on Stacy Schiff's biography Cleopatra: A Life about the famous queen of Egypt. The adaptation was being developed by producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, True Grit) "for and with Angelina Jolie," but was in the early development stages. Well, Deadline is now saying that Sony Pictures really wants James Cameron to direct the movie and they're "exploring this seriously, but it is not a certainty that it will happen." Never in a million years would I thought we'd hear Cameron's name being thrown around for a historic, biographical epic like this.
Of course, it's way too early to even say that he's been offered the job, but Deadline says this is "tantalizingly possible." The other interesting detail is that Oscar winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, A Knight's Tale, Mystic River, Green Zone, Robin Hood) is currently working on the script. I'm sure Sony really wants to get a team of talent like Cameron, Jolie and Helgeland together, but this seems like a huge pipe dream to me. I mean, Hollywood is going in the opposite direction with a lot of science fiction projects, not historical epics, and I can't see this gaining a lot of traction. Sure, it would be interesting, but I'd rather have Cameron stick to his guns with more epic sci-fi instead of something like this. Let another director tackle Cleopatra.
Update: Deadline just added more details to their original post. Jolie is attached and anxious to make the movie, so she's definitely a lock. The adaptation will be in 3D, another selling point (for both Cameron and audiences). It will be PG-13 and has been described as "brilliant script deserving of epic treatment" all about "what the Romans took from Egypt." Sony's production head Amy Pascal wants to "own" the Jolie name (not my wording) and says that "[Jolie] was born to play this part" because it's the "greatest female heroine" that ever lived. Pascal even went so far as to call it her Gone with the Wind epic. Wow - she is going all out!